A suspected zoonotic SARS-CoV-2 transmission from a cat to a human
  • Reading time:4 min(s) read

In a latest research revealed in Emerging Infectious Diseases, researchers investigated a suspected cat to human transmission of extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

Study: Suspected Cat-to-Human Transmission of SARS-CoV-2, Thailand, July–September 2021. Image Credit: TanyaPhOtOgraf/Shutterstock

Coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) is causally linked to a reside animal market in Wuhan, China, lending the an infection a zoonotic origin. America, Europe, Asia, and Africa have reported a number of circumstances reporting the presence of SARS-CoV-2 amongst varied species, together with cats, canine, minks, lions, and tigers.   

Case report

In the current research, researchers characterised a suspected case of zoonotic transmission of COVID-19 from a cat to a human.

On 15 August 2021, affected person A visited the hospital of Prince of Songkla University in Hatyai District, Songkhla Province. The affected person was a 32-year-old wholesome feminine veterinarian with a historical past of clear nasal discharge, fever, and productive cough for 2 days. Physical examination included a chest radiograph and was largely unremarkable. The affected person reported that 5 days earlier, she and sufferers E and F, additionally veterinarians, had examined a cat that belonged to 2 males, named sufferers B and C.

Patients B and C had been son and father aged 32 and 64 years previous, respectively, who lived in Bangkok, Thailand. A day prior, they examined optimistic for COVID-19 by reverse transcription polymerase chain response (RT-PCR) and had been transferred to the Prince of Songkla University hospital. The sufferers B and C, together with their cat, had been transported through an ambulance on a 20-hour drive on 8 August 2021. The sufferers had been then admitted to an isolation ward.

The cat was despatched to the college veterinary hospital and was examined by affected person A on 10 August 2021. The cat was discovered to be medically regular. Subsequently, affected person A collected rectal and nasal swabs from the animal whereas sufferers E and F restrained it. When the nasal specimen was collected, the sedated cat sneezed on affected person A. The three veterinarians had been outfitted with gloves and N95 respirator masks however weren’t sporting eye goggles or face shields in the course of the swabbing.

Three days after publicity to the cat, affected person A displayed signs however didn’t seek the advice of any medical care till 15 August 2021, when the cat examined RT-PCR optimistic for COVID-19. The nasopharyngeal swab samples collected from affected person A additionally had SARS-CoV-2. Patients A, B, and C and the cat had been remoted within the hospital. Patients E and F examined detrimental for SARS-CoV-2.  

The group discovered that the genomes of the cat and sufferers B and C had been similar to these collected from affected person A. This indicated that the SARS-CoV-2 infections had been epidemiologically associated. Since affected person A had no historical past of contact with sufferers B and C, she most definitely acquired the virus from the cat when it sneezed on her.

Furthermore, the comparatively low RT-PCR cycle thresholds discovered within the nasal swabs obtained from the cat indicated that the viral load was considerably excessive in addition to infectious. Since affected person A was sporting a masks however no goggles or face defend on the time of SARS-CoV-2 publicity, her uncovered ocular floor was inclined to buying infectious droplets from the cat.  


The research supplied proof that SARS-CoV-2 will be transmitted from cats to people. The researchers imagine that despite the fact that the chances of such a transmission are low as a result of brief length of viral shedding in cats, people with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 an infection should restrict publicity to their cats. 

Journal reference:

  • Sila T, Sunghan J, Laochareonsuk W, Surasombatpattana S, Kongkamol C, Ingviya T, et al. Suspected cat-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2, Thailand, July–September 2021. Emerg Infect Dis. doi: https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2807.212605 https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/28/7/21-2605_article

If you are interested in working in a distraction free environment, visit our site Blissful Noises where we provide various sounds and features to help you focus or relax.